SAO PAULO - Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who is retiring from the catwalk next week after a two-decade-long career, said in an interview out Saturday that she's quitting after her body "asked her to stop."
Bundchen, 34, who will make her final sashay down the catwalk during Sao Paulo Fashion Week, said in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper that she had "learned to listen to her body."
"Automatically my body tells me if what I do is worth it, and it asked to stop. I respect my body, it's a privilege to be able to stop" runway work, said Bundchen, the highest paid model in the world, according to Forbes.
Bundchen emphasised that she is not retiring but will continue off-the-runway work and spend more time with her family.
The blonde Brazilian beauty, who has already reduced her number of appearances, is married to New England Patriots star Tom Brady, with whom she has two young children, Benjamin and Vivian.
"I don't see how to continue (modeling on the catwalk) ... and stopping will leave room " for other projects I have for myself," Bundchen said, without specifying other upcoming plans.
Bundchen - who Forbes says has been the world's highest-earning model for the past eight years, with US$47 million (S$64.3 million) in earnings last year - is expected to turn her focus to print ad campaigns.
She has worked with the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Carolina Herrera.
She has also many times been a Victoria's Secret "Angel." Sao Paulo Fashion week, where Bundchen has been a fixture throughout her career, lasts from April 13-17.